My husband, Andrew, said he had to go get some onions today since we were out of them. When I came home I found 6 large onions, but also 10 pounds of tomatoes and a half a bushel of apples, pears, and peaches. A nearby grocery store sells their nearly over-ripened fruits and vegetables at very low prices and my husband snatched them up. Our kitchen smelled like my grandma's, as the cinnamon blended with the apples in the crock pot. Later, Andrew began making ginger peach sauce and prepared the beets for canning.
I was put in charge of preparing the jars. Over the years we have been given over a hundred jars for canning, some of these jars are quite old. I found blue glass jars in both pint and quart sizes and set them aside for display. In other boxes I found the tall jars Gram had used for her grape juice, along with the box Grandpa had labeled for the the jar lids. I sorted and sifted through the various boxes the jars were stored in and pulled out all 70 pint jars for washing. It may seem like a large amount, but my husband tends to make a large amount of food whenever he cooks.
My dad's mom was terrific at canning. She canned fruits, vegetables, juices, jellies and jams. Whatever grew at the farm she found a way to put up the extra for later. I have many dear memories of her grape juice that she made from the concord grapes they grew. After she passed away I found her collection of canning jars. Among the jars were her cleaning brush and the glass funnel she used when filling the jars. The cleaning brush has bristles that are the size of a pint jar, just right for scrubbing the insides of the jar. The top bristles are bound together to make a point that cleans the bottom of the jar. The glass funnel looks like a glass tea cup that is missing the bottom. My dad had immediate memories of these items when I showed them to him. He shared how Gram used them when she canned pickled beets and her bread and butter pickles. Today as my husband canned his beet relish with my grandma's funnel I had to smile.
By the end of today I had washed 100 jars, both pints and quarts, and we had put up:
14 pints of ginger peach sauce
5 pints of wild grape jelly
5 pints of dill pickle relish
4 pints of sweet pickle relish
2 pints of beet relish
We still have apple butter, pears, tomatoes, hot peppers, and a dozen peaches to put up. My husband plans to make salsa with the tomatoes, onions, and hot peppers. I wonder though, if he uses all of the onions will that mean he needs to make another trip to the store?